It’s been tricky keeping Portland kids occupied safely this summer! And although we know Portland families have totally got this, there’s no denying there are things we’re starting to miss from the days before COVID. So until we cross the finish line, here are 13 things we’re looking forward to being able to do with the kids again soon.

photo: deanna via yelp

1.Take the kids to a neighborhood festival: Portland families love to party. Food, music and dancing are some of the things that make up the soul of our city. That’s why we can’t wait for Mississippi Street Fair, Multnomah Days, Dragon Boat Festival, or any of the many, many, many others to start up again. We’re not picky, any party will do!

photo: adriana via yelp

2. Fountain Play: When the weather is warm, Portland families love to get wet. Sure we’ve enjoyed jumping in lakes and playing at the coast. But there’s something extra special about our urban fountains and splash pads. Letting the kiddos laugh, play and splash in the city’s fountains (like Jamison Square, downtown’s Salmon Street Springs by the river, or the many splash pads at parks across the city), is one of the things we miss most and can’t wait to indulge in again.

photo: Oregon Zoo

3. The Oregon Zoo. While families have been able to visit the zoo, activities have been severely limited. We can’t wait to indulge in a full reopening of our beloved zoo and opportunities to check out the many keeper talks, animal presentations, and other learning events at the Oregon Zoo (not to mention sharing an elephant ear!).

photo: unsplash

3.Breakfast and brunch. Portland is home to some of the best restaurants in the world! Oh how we long for those long, lazy mornings enjoying sips and bits with our friends and family at our favorite breakfast and  brunch spots. 

photo: istock

4. Storytime with Friends. One of our favorite family activities includes tall tales told by local librarians. We can’t wait to meet old or new friends again at story times in the neighborhood library or local kids store.

photo: jenn a via yelp


5. Game time! There’s no better way to spend a day than filling it full of affordable games. We can’t wait to hit the indoor nickel arcades like Avalon Theater & Wunderland or Ground Kontrol again.

photo: Oregon Zoo

6. Outdoor concerts. One of the hardest this to give up this summer was the live family-friendly music. Pack the wagon full of food and blankets for an outdoor concert, like Oregon Zoo Summer Concerts or Edgefield’s concerts on the lawn. 

photo: Jenna Rose Robbins via flickr

7. Indoor pools. Kids love splashing down the slides into the pool at our local community center (and take a ballet or martial arts class there, too!). As soon as we can, we will be heading back to the Portland indoor pools.

photo: melissa g via yelp

8. Playing at the Children’s Museum. We’ve never appreciated our special children’s play space, as much as we do now. We look forward to Spending a day in the veterinarian office, the grocery store, the clay studio or the theater at the Portland Children’s Museum.

photo: jennifer via yelp

9. The amusement park. From coasters to skating to all the bells and whistles you’d expect at the best of amusement parks, we really can’t wait to play at Oaks Amusement Park again.


photo: Oregon Children’s Theater

10. Hitting the theater. Nothing is quite as magical as live theater. And it’s even better when kids are the actors and actresses on stage. As soon as we can, we  will be catching an imagination-sparking show from Oregon Children’s Theater.

photo: futurestreet via flickr

11. Reading the day away. Portland is known for being home to one of the most incredible book stores in the world. Local families can’t wait to wander the day away at Powell’s City of Books.

—Katrina Emery


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